The Meerkat Muse – 14/12/2022

The Season is upon us, but will we see goodwill to all?

I warned you there’d be tinsel

The Countdown Begins

I resist Christmas, to a point, that point being the 1st of December. Why, you ask? Because to me, Christmas starts in December. At that point, the decorations and lights and Christmas music can come out. Indeed, on the 1st, we put our tree up, and the decorations up, and I played Christmas songs. I have to be careful about when I play them, for my wife is engaging in the annual ‘Whammed’ competition, the mission being to avoid Wham’s Last Christmas song for as long as possible. Speaking of Christmas songs…

Yes, he is awake.

Family Time

The other weekend, I ventured up to Stevenage, for a family party. It was in fact the second time in as many Saturdays that I’d made the trip up there, only this time, I went alone. As a result, I took a slightly different route, in order to experience the new Elizabeth Line (sad I know, but I wanted to), and I was nearly taken in by a wonderful-smelling Christmas market, right outside King’s Cross station. I did manage to confuse myself (and upon reflection, unnecessarily so), by panicking about the validity of my train ticket, once sat aboard an express train. The announcer made some spiel about certain tickets not being accepted on the service, so I leapt off, and once the train started moving, I learned I could have actually been on it. Argh!

Once on another train, I sat down, and a couple got on and sat down nearby. They proceeded to insult the age of the great and glorious Class 91 train, and then bemoaned all the bad luck they’d had on their journey up till then. Their recounting should have worried me, for not only were we a few minutes late pulling out of King’s Cross, we then stopped due to trespassers on the track, a few minutes later. It seemed I was travelling with cursed passengers.

Once that was all done and dusted, I made it to Stevenage, and we headed off to my cousin’s surprise birthday bash. We drank, we ate, and and it was nice to catch up with family. When I worked for the sofa retailer, they did not like you having time off at weekends, and there was zero chance of time off around bank holidays or the festive period. This destroyed many an opportunity to spend time with my extended family, so I am grateful for the flexibility of my current employers.

I also learned that one of my aunts is quite ill. I say learned, I already knew of her condition, but it appears to be getting worse, and… well, I don’t know how much time she has left. Time sometimes feels elastic, and memories of summer days, Christmas gatherings, and family events with my aunts, uncles and cousins… sometimes, they keep me warm. We might have all grown up and started families of our own, but we’re part of the clan, and we always will be. I hate the idea that people who have been part of my life for my entire life, might leave it.

There was also a gesture, an act of stunning generosity, that I had not expected, from a source I hadn’t expected either. I need to put together a thank you note, but I’m not sure how to do it justice. I’ll do my best.

Frost Time

There is a definite chill in the air. At times, temps have dropped below zero. Up north, there has been snow. So far, my little pocket of Essex has avoided the cold white stuff, but for how much longer?

The answer was, not long at all.

I don’t like the cold. It leaves me not wanting to get out of bed in the mornings, but I have no choice. I can hardly call up my boss and say ‘I’m having a duvet day’, when there’s four of us at most! It’s like planet earth knows there’s a serious energy crisis, and it’s decided to ramp up the pressure on us. Heating the house costs money, yet it is unavoidable in freezing conditions. Of course, the government could nationalise energy, or at least ensure energy companies can’t rip us off, but will they? Of course not.

World Cup Misery

What can I say? Was I disappointed at England’s quarter-final exit from the 2022 World Cup? Yes. Was I surprised by our 2-1 defeat to France in Qatar? No. I had said this was where our World Cup dream ends, on more than occasion. I had a few grievances with referee decisions, but the bottom line is, we just do not have it in us to win a major football tournament. I am in my forties, and I believe I could live into my nineties, and not witness England win something in this sport. I need to accept in my heart that football is not a sport that will bring me much joy.


I imagine regular readers are getting bored of this, but I’m not gonna stop plugging my book! I refer you all, once again, to Amazon UK if you’re in the UK, and Jumpmaster Press if you’re in the USA, should you wish to indulge in a new sci-fi tale!

I am trying to find ways to generate more sales, but I think, in the end, all I can do is to keep talking about it, across multiple avenues, and rely a little on word of mouth.

Silly Fun

Sometimes, camera filters can be quite fun to mess around with. They can bring a meerkat to life…

… and they can drive one quackers.

I make no apologies for this.

The Slowdown

It’s been a quiet two weeks, unless you count World Cup stuff, which I’ve documented elsewhere (and don’t especially want to ponder). There’s only so much padding I can do with a Muse, and it feels like I’ve reached the end of this one already. Next time, it will be the Muse of 2022!

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